Wow, you guys. Just...wow. I've been sitting here for a while staring at a blank screen, not quite knowing what to write about this episode.
I feel like it's been a while since we've had a death that really, really mattered (in my opinion, the most recent important death was Juliet in the season 5 finale). Tonight...well, we got three. At least three.
I've been less than thrilled at what the writers have done with Sun and Jin this season. I've not been particularly satisfied with their storylines this season...I felt like the writers simply didn't do enough with them (this is especially the case with Sun, I think). But I felt that their deaths were completely and totally done perfectly . For a couple seasons now, we've wanted Sun and Jin to be together. We've watched their grueling journey back to one another. Two weeks ago, we saw their reunion, which seemed all too brief. Was that it? Was that really all we got after how many freakin' seasons of them trying to find one another again?
I felt like, for the first time this season, Sun and Jin's characters were really done justice...in their death scene tonight. I, the anti-cry, had tears in my eyes. i know a number of my friends actually did cry. It was a brilliant, poignant scene where we, and those two characters, finally got what we had all wanted to see for so long: Sun and Jin be together. Despite Jin's assholishness at times and Sun's infidelity, those two personified "'til death do us part." We finally saw Jin make good on his promise from several seasons ago--remember after the raft washed him back to the island, he promised Sun he'd never leave her again? Well, after several seasons, a bunch of flashes through time, another plane crash, and a bunch of other craziness, we finally saw Jin keep that promise. It was heartwrenching like Charlie's death in season 3, like Juliet's death last season--and it is a moment of Lost we'll always remember. If the Lost writers were going for emotional impact--man, they really hit the mark.
I felt that Sayid's death, too, was executed brilliantly. We've been wanting to see Sayid find redemption, and I've gotta believe that he did. First, he told Jack about Desmond's whereabouts. "Locke wants him dead, which means you need him." "Why are you telling me this?" asked Jack. "Because it's going to be you, Jack," said Sayid, as he ran through the submarine with the bomb, sacrificing his own life to save the lives of several people aboard the sub. Sayid died selflessly, helping others. This season we've seen him be concerned with whether or not he was evil, whether or not he could find redemption. In the episode two weeks ago, Sayid's conversation with Desmond seemed to shock Sayid back onto the good side of things. In tonight's episode, he wasn't acting zombiefied...and was instead acting like the brave character we've come to love over the past six seasons. Rest in peace, Sayid.
Once the bomb exploded and water was rushing in the sub, the whole scene had a very Charlie/"Not Penny's boat" vibe to it. We had a character sacrificing himself to save others, and we also had characters who were rather...misled. The "Not Penny's boat" moments go to Jack (for realizing, once in the sub, that FLocke had put that bomb in that backpack) and Sawyer--who, had he listened to Jack, could probably have spared some lives.
Just like Smokey/MIB could not kill Jacob, it seems like another rule of this Island is that Smokey/MIB cannot kill candidates (he told Jack in the beginning of tonight's episode that he could kill them all, but I'm certain he was bluffing). Remember: MIB manipulated Ben into killing Jacob because MIB was not able to do it himself. I strongly suspect the same goes for MIB and the candidates. Therefore, I suspect that--as Jack believed--if they'd been on the sub and just let that bomb do its thing, it would simply not go off (like how that dynamite fizzled but didn't hurt anyone in the Jack/Richard on-Island scene in "Dr. Linus" a few episodes ago). MIB and his weapons couldn't kill those candidates. But once Sawyer--who didn't have Jack's level of faith about this sort of thing--messed with the bomb, then it was no longer just MIB's doing, which meant that this thing could kill candidates...and it did. To Sawyer's credit, of course the suggestion to just leave the bomb alone sounded completely illogical, and I think any one of us would have done the same thing he did--it's not like Jack had time to explain why he was so sure they'd all be OK if they left the bomb alone. But once Sawyer screwed with that bomb, it became his doing and not MIB's, and several candidates died as a result. FLocke anticipated that Sawyer (or someone) would act this way...although I don't think he anticipated that someone would be so selfless as to save at least a few lives of people aboard that sub.
I'm wondering what happened to Lapidus. It certainly seems like he's a goner, but...I dunno. I could be biased here, as I really liked Lapidus, but I'm not 100% certain he's dead. generally I don't believe someone on Lost is dead until I see a body. And it sure looked like he was getting squashed by a big ol' door, but...I'm not sure we know that for sure. It wouldn't surprise me if he showed back up somewhere. But it also wouldn't surprise me--although it would disappoint me--if he were dead. I've always felt like he was an interesting but underdeveloped character--he was the only one of the Freighter Four who didn't get a flashback episode, and was also the only one of them who didn't have some sort of familial ties to the Island. I've always been left wanting to know more about Lapidus--and I still feel that way.
* So (at least in the sideways world), Locke's a pilot? I dunno, guys, but this screams SIGNIFICANT!!!! to me...
* What's up with that box (with a MIRROR inside!) that Christian Shephard wanted Claire to have? (And was the song it was playing that "Catch a Falling Star" song...?)
* And in other mirror imagery: Jack repairing Locke's dural sac (as opposed to his wife Sarah's, as he had in season 1).
* In the beginning of the episode, Jack told Locke, "You're a candidate." Suuuuure, he acted like it was for some sort of procedure that could make the crippled Locke walk again, but...I'm betting it's about much more than that (even if Jack himself doesn't realize it).
* Loved the scene with Bernard--and also loved the Locke/Anthony Cooper twist. In this timeline, Locke was responsible for his father's injuries--they were in a plane crash, and Locke had been piloting the plane. And Locke loved his father very, very much.
* Also in the sideways timeline--loved Locke's half-conscious Island flashbacks ("Push the button!" "I wish you had believed me...").
* The scene with Claire and Jack and the vending machine--did that remind anyone else of the S5 finale scene where we saw Jack having trouble with the vending machine at work and Jacob showing up, giving him his magic touch, and handing him that candy bar?
* What's up with Claire? She, too, seems less zombiefied...
* And I loved the conversations between Jack and Locke in the sideways timeline toward the end of the show--the conversations about letting go, not punishing yourself about your father issues... I'm hoping that Jack and Locke will eventually save one another...
As we go into next week's episode, which is a Jacob/man In Black-centric episode and will NOT include any of the Losties we've known for the past 6 seasons, we have the following groups:
* Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sawyer are on the beach, mourning their dead friends
* Lapidus is somewhere, but very possibly dead
* FLocke is presumably coming after the candidates who are not dead--and Claire is in tow (By the way, how did FLocke instinctively know that not all those candidates are dead? Is something supposed to automatically HAPPEN to him--that clearly didn't happen--once they're dead, and that's how he knows they aren't all dead?)
* Widmore and an unknown number of his goons are somewhere, presumably by the cages
* Ben, Richard, and Miles are supposed to be off destroying the Ajira plane, but as we saw in tonight's episode, it doesn't seem to be destroyed...so where are those guys, and what are they up to?
And we're not really gonna know what's up with any of those folks until episode 6.16 (whose title may be spoilery, so I won't post it here), which airs the week after the Jacob/MIB episode airs.
What were your thoughts on "The Candidate"? How did you feel about all these deaths? Were you satisfied with how Sun's, Jin's, and Sayid's Island storylines ended? Do you think we'll see them in Sidewaysland? (I bet we will--we already saw Jin pop up in the final Sideways scene with Jack and Locke tonight.) Let's talk Lost...gimme a holler in the Comments section!
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